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Little Frida A Tale of the Black Forest   By:

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[Illustration: Looking anxiously at the babe in her arms. See page 42. ]

LITTLE FRIDA

A TALE OF THE BLACK FOREST

BY THE AUTHOR OF "LITTLE HAZEL, THE KING'S MESSENGER" "UNDER THE OLD OAKS; OR, WON BY LOVE" ETC. ETC.

THOMAS NELSON AND SONS, LTD.

LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK

CONTENTS

I. LOST IN THE WOODS 9

II. THE WOOD CUTTER'S HUT 16

III. FRIDA'S FATHER 23

IV. THE PARSONAGE 29

V. THE WOODMEN'S PET 36

VI. ELSIE AND THE BROWN BIBLE 42

VII. IN DRINGENSTADT 46

VIII. THE VIOLIN TEACHER AND THE CONCERT 54

IX. CHRISTMAS IN THE FOREST 68

X. HARCOURT MANOR 76

XI. IN THE RIVIERA 86

XII. IN THE GREAT METROPOLIS 95

XIII. IN THE SLUMS 104

XIV. THE OLD NURSE 115

XV. THE POWER OF CONSCIENCE 127

XVI. THE STORM 131

XVII. THE DISCOVERY 137

XVIII. OLD SCENES 151

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Looking anxiously at the babe in her arms Frontispiece

Ere the child consented to go to bed she opened the little "brown book" 17

"Come, Frida," she said, "let us play the last passage together" 66

LITTLE FRIDA.

CHAPTER I.

LOST IN THE WOODS.

"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up."

"See, Hans, how dark it gets, and thy father not yet home! What keeps him, thinkest thou? Supper has been ready for a couple of hours, and who knows what he may meet with in the Forest if the black night fall!" and the speaker, a comely German peasant woman, crossed herself as she spoke. "I misdoubt me something is wrong. The saints preserve him!"

The boy, who looked about ten years old, was gazing in the direction of a path which led through the Forest, but, in answer to this appeal, said, "Never fear, Mütterchen; father will be all right. He never loses his way, and he whistles so loud as he walks that I am sure he will frighten away all the bad "

But here his mother laid her hand on his mouth, saying, "Hush, Hans! never mention them in the twilight; 'tis not safe. Just run to the opening in the wood and look if ye see him coming; there is still light enough for that. It will not take you five minutes to do so. And then come back and tell me, for I must see to the pot now, and to the infant in the cradle."

The night, an October one, was cold, and the wind was rising and sighing amongst the branches of the pine trees. Darker and darker gathered the shades, as mother and son stood again at the door of their hut after Hans had returned from his useless quest. No sign of his father had he seen, and boy though he was, he knew too much of the dangers that attend a wood cutter's life in the Forest not to fear that some evil might have befallen his father; but he had a brave young heart, and tried to comfort his mother.

"He'll be coming soon now, Mütterchen," he said; "and won't he laugh at us for being so frightened?"

But the heart of the wife was too full of fear to receive comfort just then from her boy's words.

"Nay, Hans," she said; "some evil has befallen him. He never tarries so late. Thy father is not one to turn aside to his mates' houses and gossip away his time as others do. It is always for home and children that he sets out when his work is done. No, Hans; I know the path to the place where he works, and I can follow it even in the dark... Continue reading book >>




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